Gutters are far more important to your home’s general well-being than you may be aware. Their primary function is to safely channel excess water from rain and melting snow and ice away from the roof. This seemingly simple purpose is much more complex, however. While deflecting and directing water away from soaking the sides of your house, your gutters are also protecting the structural integrity of your home.
Issues Caused by Gutters
Clogged and overflowing gutters on the other hand offer no protection to your home. Likewise, when it rains hard outside, your gutters flood and water soak the sides of your home and destroys the landscaping below. Eventually, mud collects in the bottoms of clogged gutters, leaving less and less room for debris. At this point, the entire gutter system becomes compromised due to weight and low to zero water flow.
Damaged fascia, siding, and insulation are among the most common results of poorly maintained gutters. If the neglect continues, the damage worsens, causing internal and external damage. Serious internal issues associated with clogged gutters include mold, rotting timber, significant ceiling leaks, and sweating walls. On the outside, siding gets warped, flowerbeds wash away, and more.
How to Protect Your Gutters and Home
Thankfully, there are some easy-to-achieve common sense solutions for all of the reasons that your gutters need to be cleaned:
Cleaning your gutters on a regular basis is the first and most important step to take in protecting your gutter system and home from unnecessary damage. By removing the leaves and other debris from your gutters at least once or twice a year, you eliminate the root cause of most gutter-related issues.
Cleaning your gutters is really simple. But, it does require you to make use of a ladder. If you’re not comfortable climbing up and down a ladder, as well as moving it around the entire home, and standing on it to reach the gutters, you may want to hire a professional.
To clean your gutters, safely mount your ladder at one end of the home, climb up, and, using gloves, remove the leaves, debris, and muck from the gutters by hand. Place the rubbish in a garbage bag as you go, or simply toss it down to the ground and rake it up once you are finished cleaning the entire gutter system.
Installing Gutter Guards
The second most useful thing you can do is to install gutter guards on your home’s gutter systems. Gutter guards are fashioned to fit onto pre-existing gutters of all sorts and prevent blockage of water flow. They come with slots or holes that allow water to pass through and into the gutter while keeping out most large debris. Good gutter guards can even block most small debris as well.
The market is flooded with gutter guards, so there are plenty to choose from. If you’re into DIY projects, some of the best gutter guards can be installed without the help of professionals. They can even come with warranties that last for years, which is not always the case with DIY stuff. A downside is that you may end up voiding your roof’s warranty if you aren’t careful.
Professionally made and installed gutter guards, like LeafFilter are also an option, though they cost more and you will have to schedule the installation process. But, in this case you definitely will get a warranty for the guards, won’t void your roof warranty, and will greatly reduce the amount of maintenance that your gutters require each year.
A Final Word About Protecting Your Gutters and Your Home
Protecting your gutter and your home is not a hard task. It is, however, a task. Aside from properly cleaning your gutters regularly, and considering the installation of gutter guards, proper landscaping, such as trimming trees that are close to the roof, and keeping all hedges and shrubs nice and neat goes a long way to help reduce gutter debris.
If you aren’t the outdoorsy type, or climbing ladders just really isn’t your thing, the solution for you is a simple one; call the professionals. From tree trimmers and landscapers to gutter cleaners and gutter guard installers, there is no doubt a professional nearby that can help you out, for the right price.